We’ve all heard the cricketing expressions ‘the tail wags’ and ‘catches win matches’, and that was never truer than this past Sunday against Scorpions, who handed the Rollers their first defeat of the 2011/12 season.
On another hot day at the Distell Fields and with most of the members still battling the various after-effects of the previous day’s Wellington Sixes, the Rollers succumbed to a three-wicket defeat – though it could have all been so different but for some poor officiating and slip-ups in the field.
With Hannes Engelbrecht having some coffee with his family in Yzerfontein, it was up to Neville Cooper to lead the side and preserve our proud record this season.
And barring Nicky Rheeder’s early dismissal for a duck, it all started well enough, with Louis Pretorius putting his McDonalds away for an hour or so to do some serious smashing.
He and Neville took the score to 36 before the skipper was stumped for 10, but the Weber-lid found a keen partner in Cornell Keulder, and together they hit seven shades of shit out of the opposition to take the score for 78/2 after 15 overs.
Louis’ dismissal for 38 brought about a customary mini-collapse, with Wayne Moore being bowled for a duck, Ryan Cooper caught behind for 11 and Cornell holing out for 28. Hannes Carlson managed just 10, but Scorpions had not counted on the anger that is Andrew Young.
Mislik-personified when he arrived at the field, he channelled that anger in some fashion to blast his way to 33 – his innings containing just singles and sixes; the last of those landing on the roof of the Distillery next door.
He and Hannes Moore took the score to 165; not great, but very defendable considering our bowling attack.
But despite Hannes picking up an early wicket as Nicky amazingly hung onto a catch at short cover, Scorpions raced out of the blocks, with AD Visser smashing us to all parts as they reached 50/1.
Andrew then got the other opener, only for their number 4, Riaan Gerber, joining his mate in taking a liking to the bowling.
Cue Nico Rheeder and his leggies.
He picked up the big wicket of Visser in his first over, and at one stage was standing on figures of 2/16 in six overs. Cornell’s two-wicket burst left the hosts at 133/7, but two bits of bad luck then changed the game…
First Slang had ‘Coach’ van Rheede padding up to vicious leggie which trapped him plumb in front. The umpire was having none of it, despite the batsman himself later confessing that he was dead in the water. Jacques Laubscher then put down the self-same Van Rheede at midwicket.
Both proved costly as the batsman smashed 18 of Slang’s next over to effectively kill off the game, with ‘Coach’ hitting Ryan for two boundaries before a powerful drive which nearly decapitated Kepler finished off proceedings.
So a three-wicket victory for Scorpions ends the Rollers’ unbeaten run this season, but still plenty to play for – starting with this Sunday’s game at Somerset West.